Shadowland

Laura Daly
Finalist

A small number of Cambodia’s sacred shadow puppets were buried underground to save them from destruction during the Khmer Rouge regime. Years later, the puppets were unearthed and restored; shadow theatre has gradually been revitalised thanks to the few surviving artists.

Shadowland reflects on the strength of human spirit in the face of such terrible adversity. It explores the significance of the Cambodian land in terms of oppression, war, genocide, nationalism, communism, capitalism and hope.

The sound installation journeys from the years preceding the Khmer Rouge regime until after the Vietnamese occupation. It is a combination of sampled sounds from archived news footage, documentaries, interviews and propaganda films. The work begins with a silhouetted figure projected on the wall. As the score progresses, the shadow moves slowly to the soil scattered on the floor, rests and then returns.

Shadowland - soil, shovel, automated spotlight, single channel of sound looping – 2017.

Shadowland

Laura Daly
Finalist

Artist Statement

Laura Daly
Finalist

I use a variety of media including video, drawings, photography, mapping and sound in site specific and site related projects that range significantly in scale. Investigating the concealed, implied, absent and remote, I construct narrative spaces that feature site in the content and structure of the work. I use devices such as dual projections and layered framing as a means to appose different contexts and create a dialogue between them. I am intrigued by the potential of juxtaposed and implied territory and how shifts in movement, time and context can build narrative and alter perceptions of a situation. Giving presence to absence, I compact time and space in projects that often manifest in a physical dualism - asking the audience to consider their relationship with a site as they physically respond to the piece.